Activity Mat for busy bees

playing on activity mat with carsI have two little busy bees at home!  Every now and then we enjoy going out for breakfast or for dinner. As we all know, sometimes  it can be challenging to keep them occupied while waiting for food or when we are still eating. Sandy from Frollein S asked me if I could create something out of her chalk fabric and I immediately got the idea of the activity mat which I can take with me when we go out.Chalk Diy Activity MatThe mat is reversible! I used jersey fabric on one side and the chalk fabric on the other side. This way the boys play with their cars on the streets or draw on the other side with chalk!playing on activity mat diyThe kids are fascinated and entertained for a while. At some point we had about 8-10 cars on the mat and Liam yelled “Crash” all the time 😀diy activity matElliott is learning to write his name and the ABC’s, so he prefers the chalk fabric now. He practices writing his name. Liam likes coloring and doing anything his brother is doing– he sits down every day and colors – coloring books, blank pages, not blank pages, walls, himself etc. 🙂  He is the artiste’! diy chal matabc did activity matI’ve sewn big pockets on the chalk side this way we can add cars, chalk, cards, trains or shapes to them.  pocket diy activity matI also added elastic to the side seam and a button to the mat , hence I can fold the sides and roll it up and use the elastic to close it. Once rolled up it fits in my purse or backpack. The mat is super light even with all the pockets filled and not super bulky. rolled up diy activity mat chalk and streetrolled up activity mat with chalk fabric and jerseyJust a tip when you create your own mat: Add stabilizer to the jersey or at least the corners, this way it doesn’t stretch when sewing. I used a clean kitchen sponge to remove the chalk, you can scrub the fabric no problem.

Let me know if you need some help or send me pictures of yours and I will post it to the blog!

Fabrics by Frollein S and Pattern by me

 

Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day from us!crayon diy heart valentine v-dayWe hope you have day filled with small and big memories. I am planning on making heart pancakes for the boys today! It’s the first time I am home with the kids on Valentine’s Day.

Elliott and I made treat bags for his pre-K class and made some crayon hearts. We put some pencils, sharpeners, stickers and the hearts in the bags and of course Elliott’s Valentine’s card. diy hearts valentine crafts crayon crayola I tried to melt different crayons in a tin and then add it the silicon form. That took more patience than I actually had :). Also boiling water with kids, I always get a bit nervous about the heat. I ended up breaking the crayons in different small pieces and just layed them into the form and used a hairdryer to melt them. That was a lot faster than melting each individual color.crayon hearts diy wax wachsmalstifteIt’s quiet fun to see how each individual heart turns out and none of them are same. diy crafts heart melt crayonEnjoy your day! May it be filled with love and lots of crafts <3

Clear vs White Shrinky Dinks

shrinky dinks diy storm troopers star warsMy new favorite crafting material are Shrinky Dinks – draw on a sheet of plastic and put it in the oven and voilà you have your own hard plastic. Whaaat?! 😀 stormtrooper diy star wars earringsI’ve made my first pairs of earrings for my oldest Star Wars Birthday party. Also made the kids Jedi badges, after they completed the training at the party. I’ve tried them both, the clear and white version. Below you can see the clear version and top is the white version. I just made a pair for Valentine’s Day earrings with simply a red sharpie, again with white Shinky Dink Paper, because it will bring out the colors better. heart earings shrinky dinks diyHere are some tips, I learned from my experience with crafting with the 2 different Shrinky Dinks papers (clear and white):

  • Use sharpies,  any water content in your pens will make your plastic wave
  • The white paper doesn’t shrink as much as the clear. Make sure you test the sizing of your work.
  • Test the timing on your Shrinky Dinks. It makes a difference if you place your paper on a cool baking sheet or a warm/pre-heated baking sheet.
  • Keeping white in too long turns them yellow-brownish – I only kept mine in for 1 minute
  • The white doesn’t take as long as the clear to shrink.
  • The clear creates a structure one side, white is smooth and shiny on both sides
  • You will see glue spots on clear Shinky Dinks- I used a double-sided sheet to attach felt on my badges.
  • Acrylic paint reacts different on clear vs white shrinky dinks.

I hope the tips were useful for you!! Oh the endless possibilities! ❤heart diy shrinky dinks

4 Ways to save on Christmas Decorations

ways to save on christmas Staying on a budget is difficult, but important. I’ve been home with the boys the last two months, so I’ve tried to stay on a budget and not spend money on new items, but rather recycle, reuse and repurpose items I have at home. And of course use items which are free to me or everyone…oh the endless possibilities..overview of the whole centerpiece

I decided I wanted a fun but urban and woodsy center piece for our dinner table, which I can move easily to our coffee table.tried branches

Here are my 4 ways to Save on Christmas Decoration:

FREE:

  • Moss from the woods (HELLO, we are in the PNW there is moss everywhere)
  • 2 different types of Evergreen
  • Succulents from my yard
  • Twigs/dried branches

succulents

Recycle: The main piece holding the candles and vegetation is an old baking pan, I would never use it for baking. The ribbon is from a gift I received a while back.overview of center piece

Reuse: The white ornaments, are from Depot which were gifted to me a couple years back too. ceramic star and metal star

Repurpose: The wooden star I bought at a sale a couple years back and gets repurposed all the time, some times standing behind pictures on our mantel, or filled with with ornaments or just having candles displayed in them all year around. You could say that the baking pan was repurposed as well 🙂thank-you

I spend maybe 2$ on the Metal Stars, which I bought at Michaels. I actually made it out of Michaels without spending a fortune, because I only bought the 4 stars and glue! Usually that doesn’t happen, right ladies?! 🙂metal star

Happy 2nd Advent to all my readers in Germany! Enjoy your day <3

Tassel Necklace {DIY}

tassle necklace diy all Need a quick DIY for Mother’s Day and need to incorporate your toddler?! No problem! Elliott and I made these tassel necklaces one afternoon. They are easy to be made and keep your toddler busy for the right amount of time.

tassel necklace diy toddlers accessories

All you need is some string (or ribbon, leather…), tassels (I bought mine at Michaels Craft Store super cheap), beads (plastic or glass) and a pair of scissors. tassels beads scissors diy beadsI would put the tassel on first and knot off one side for your toddler, otherwise you are going to spend more time picking up beads than making a necklace.  We had a bunch of plastic beads left over from E’s birthday party which matched perfectly our tassels. Elliott decided to go with green and yellow. tassle diy necklaceThe whole project might take 20 minutes, because it takes some time for the toddler to get the beads on the string. This is also a great exercise for their fine motoric.

diy tassel necklace toddler beads

You can either keep the necklaces for yourself or give them away as gift’s to Moms, Grandmas, Friends or even little girlfriends.

And if you feeling more crafty and have small beads at home you can also make tassel bracelets with elastic strings. I wouldn’t recommend toddlers for this one, because the beads are too small for their little fingers. tassel diy